Originally Posted by SheTexan
Does that mean that Demeco, Mario, Winston, Briesel, and Dressen were in the 10%?? They were nothing but scumbags in RS eyes, so it's bye-bye losers?? Geeezzzzz! RS is an idi*t and couldn't manage the 20/70/10 concept if his life depended on it! JMO!!! Dont' throw the "cap" issue at me either. That's RS fault also!
Mario, despite his injury, was in Smith's top ten. The Bills simply put the bidding in another orbit.
I believe that Winston was in group A, but fell to B. As the article explains, A-listers falling to list B are the heaviest burdens on the GM. Those contracts require action. The only source explaining Smith's decision was Winston himself:
“Basically, they told me they were up against it (the salary cap) and didn’t want to insult me by asking me to take a pay cut.”
Winston --probably in an effort to keep his market value high-- never confirmed whether he would've rejected a pay cut.
Briesel and Dreessen were typical B group: Core players who are vital to your operation, but cannot demand resources reserved for group A. I'm not sure if allowing these two to walk was justified, but I do believe that we won't suffer so many departures of core players like this in future offseasons. This year was special due to several abnormal factors.
Demeco was another special case. He --like Winston-- had dropped from group A to B, and action was required. Smith knew that Demeco would not take a pay cut, and the situation required delicate handling. Peter King did a follow up report on this issue that offered more details:
• A few of you got the impression -- probably advanced by the way I wrote my section on the Texans in MMQB yesterday -- that GM Rick Smith is some ruthless, unfeeling executive looking solely at the bottom line in building his team. If I left that impression, let me even it out a bit here. Smith is smart, and he knows there comes a time when the plug needs to be pulled on every player. But I don't think he does it callously. He had to pull the plug after the 2011 season with two important defensive pieces, Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, as I explained in the column yesterday. Williams was going to be far more costly than the Texans would have agreed to pay; that was a relatively simple decision. When Smith was about to trade Ryans to Philadelphia, he asked to have dinner with him. Smith explained exactly why he wanted to make the deal -- that Ryans was more of a pure 4-3 middle linebacker who was going to come off the field on third downs in the 3-4 scheme of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and that Ryans would be a perfect fit with the Eagles, who needed a middle 'backer. "Our relationship demanded that,'' said Smith. "I realize how much DeMeco has meant to the team and to the organization, and we want to be sure we did this the right way.''
I think the most predictable aspect of this GM'ing philosophy is how it spurs action on contracts for players falling out of group A. But I don't think we will see this often, and I'm more optimistic about player retention going forward now that we have players that fit the system and salary caps around the league are closer to equilibrium.